Right before the rhythmic, improvisational and poetic genre called meykhana was forbidden to practice in Soviet Azerbaijan, it bloomed for a short time in the beginning of previous century, and can be met in the files of theatre repertoires from that time and in a few books printed between 1919 and 1930. This period is the first time the name of the genre, Meykhana, is met. Due to its prohibition the terms kupletlər (couplets) and satirik kupletlər (satirical couplets) has been used as a replacement for the public name of the genre. Although it has found a revival after the resolution of the Soviet Union, it is still commonly regarded as belonging to low culture. A practice generally known for being appreciated by young men from Baku and its suburbs gained national status in recent history: is started to become broadcasted by national TV channels and has become a subject for debates. The genre entered the young and free market in the surface of new capitalism, which had great significance to its recent development. While in Azerbaijan meykhana today is a popular cultural phenomenon, the Azerbaijani minority in Georgia practises a religious ceremony mainly by same name.
This thesis is an initial attempt to give a literary account of this poetic improvisational genre. My field study started with the aim to observe, interview, collect and analyze texts and stanzas all within the Azerbaijani context, which is characterized by the fact that until recently it was a peripheral part of the Soviet Union. The first part of the thesis makes objective generalisations of the poetic and structural qualities of the genre, whereas the second part gives serious attention to field-grounded observations, as both being central methodologies in the modern philology.The project has ended with two final results: The master’s thesis for University of Oslo and a book “The Poetics of Meykhana” (in Azerbaijani: Meyxananin poetikası), published together with the folklorist Nizami Tağısoy.